10 Types of Dog Leashes and Their Uses

Every dog needs a collar and a leash. How else will you keep track of him when taking him for a walk or going on a trip? For every dog, there is a perfect leash. Some dogs respond to different kinds of leashes, some might not like a particular type of leash but may behave better with another.

There are different styles and types of leashes available to suit each breed of dog and for different uses in daily life and training. One thing all of these leashes have in common is that they keep your dog safe and under control when you are out in public.

Standard Dog Leash

The standard dog leash the most common type of leash used for daily walks and basic training. These leashes are usually made from nylon, leather, or even materials like cotton and rubber. These aren’t as durable because your dog can chew right through them.

Leather or nylon is sturdy enough to restrain a full-sized dog but lightweight enough to use for a puppy. These leashes measure around 4 to 8 feet in length with 6 being the most common length. This allows plenty of room for your dog to have freedom of movement but short enough to for the handler to have complete control if necessary.

Retractable Dog Leash

This leash allows the handler to vary the length of the leash of the dog for freedom of movement. These leashes work much like a measuring tape with a cord that extends from about 4 to 30 feet with a locking mechanism contained in a plastic handle, this also automatically collects the leash when you release the mechanism, retracting it into the handle.

This type of leash is prevalent, but there are some things to consider before using this kind. There may be a possibility of strangulation due to excess leash or a possibility of rope burn for the handler. This type of strap may also be a little confusing for the dog as the handler may give the dog a longer line, and then might use a shorter line when walking close together. This causes dogs to pull unnecessarily.

Adjustable Dog Leash

Adjustable leashes are a mix between the standard leash and the retractable leash. It can adjust from between 3-6 feet by adding or removing loops and extra clips along its length. These allow a shorter leash to use for training but still gives the option for more freedom when walking.

These leashes are great to wrap around the waist or body especially for those who like running with their dogs. These leashes make it easy to briefly tether a dog to a pole when you need two free hands for a moment.

Chain Dog Leash

The chain dog leash is an excellent replacement for the standard dog leash especially for ones who like to chew and destroy their leashes, although it is the least popular out of the leashes available. Chain leashes are available in various weights and thicknesses. If you are opting to use a chain leash, it is recommended to keep an eye on the dog using this type of leash.

A lot of dogs learn that a chain leash is indestructible and stops chewing it, but some continue to chew to the point of damaging their teeth.

One must consider the weight of the leash if using on a puppy, making sure that the chain is thin and light. Upgrading to a tougher and heavier one once the dog grows is recommended so it will not break.

The Martingale Lead

This leash is a combination of a standard leash and a martingale collar. This leash is used as a training aid and prevents a dog from pulling during training. The collar tightens around the dog’s neck when it pulls, but it does not choke. This collar puts pressure on a dog’s neck to act as an aversive, which makes it uncomfortable when a dog pulls and discourages the behavior.

If you decide to use a martingale lead, it is essential to choose the correct size, so it is easy to take off, but won’t allow the dog to slip out of it. The perfect fitting martingale will have a collar that is 2 inches smaller than your dog’s neck size.

Multiple Dog Leash

The multiple dog leash is used to walk more than one dog on a single leash. It has one handle and a leash for the first dog with a second leash or more coming off from a coupler to allow you to attach another dog.

This is great for well-trained dogs that walk correctly and don’t pull and jump around and are quite effective for owners with multiple dogs. It is difficult to use it for more than two dogs, but possible.

Seat Belt Safety Dog Leash

These leashes are short with a clip on one end to attach your dog’s collar and a clip for the seat belt on the other for safely securing a dog in the back seat of a car. Using this leash prevents a dog from climbing around and distracting the driver. This also prevents them from wandering off in case of an accident.

This is a must-have when traveling with your dog and an excellent replacement if you do not have a crate in the car since it is better than not securing a dog at all.


A harness isn’t really considered as a leash for many pet owners, but it is. Many dogs can benefit from using a harness instead of a traditional leash as it gives the owner better control over a puppy or a dog that needs guidance. Dog harnesses are thought to be more comfortable for dogs and are more natural for them to adjust to, making it a great addition to your pet supplies.

A no-pull harness is a trendy item for owners who have big dogs that pull. These come in back clip harnesses, and front clip harnesses, the former is better for well-trained dogs and the latter is an excellent choice for dogs that jump and pull.

Bike Dog Leash

A bike leash is excellent for pet owners who want to take their dogs for a bike ride so their pet can get out for some exercise with them. This leash can be attached to the frame of a bicycle and gives the dog an adjustable amount of distance from your bike. With training, a dog will be able to jog or run alongside you when biking without the fear of them running away.

This leash is a little tricky at first, but once a dog is used to it, it is a great way to get both you and your dog some quality exercise time together.

Reflective Dog Leash

Just like a standard dog leash, reflective leashes are made of either nylon or leather, but with an addition of a reflective strip embedded into the leash. These leashes, in combination with reflective collars, are excellent leashes for owners that walk their dogs at night along country roads that have little in the way of wide paths but have cars close by.

Tips On Choosing A Leash

Nylon leashes are a better choice for standard leashes as they last quite a long time granted that your dog doesn’t chew through them. Leather leashes are great but may need to be applied with leather conditioner to keep it from perishing and help make it last longer.

Pick the right width and strength for the puppy or dog that you have. All dog owners need to upgrade their dog’s leash as they grow, but having a light leash for smaller dogs, and a heavier, thicker leash for bigger dogs will make their walks more enjoyable.

If your dog is a chewer, a chain leash may be recommended to avoid constant replacement. A thicker nylon or leather leash can be used as well.

Make sure to pick a clip that is strong enough and should take the size and strength of your dog. Breaking free is not an uncommon situation.

Buy at least a spare leash just to be sure that there is always another one available in case your dog’s leash gets damaged, breaks, or is lost.

Regularly check your dog’s leash for any damage and ensure that the clip is durable and can secure your dog. Replace the dog’s leash at the first sign of any tears and rips or when the clip becomes weak.

Wrap Up

A leash can be your best friend when training your new puppy, and it is a must to getting your dog used to wearing it. When looking or choosing a leash at the pet store, remember to always consider your dog’s needs and what you’ll be using it for. One leash may not be enough, but with these in mind, it is much easier to choose what works best for you and your furry friend.

About the Author
Deinah Storm is a pet lover from the US that’s had cats and dogs all her life. When she’s not walking the dogs with her family, she spends time writing informational and interesting blogs about pets to share with pet lover communities.

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